199 Views

Why students should strike for free education

#StudentStrike: WTF is going on?

On the 10th of September the National Executive Council (NEC) of the National Union of Students (NUS), which represents around seven million students nationally, including all Sussex students, voted to advocate a yes vote if a national student strike ballot was mandated.

Every student at an NUS affiliated institution will get to vote on the strike, with activists already mobilizing up and down the country. It is likely the vote on the ballot will happen at the end of this term and all Sussex students will get to vote for student strike action, the first time in over 45 years!

But why would we strike?

Because, in short, this Government hates us: we are the generation leaving university with around £50,000 of debt; the generation with no job security due to crippling austerity policies; the generation maligned, bemoaned and sidelined.

We are supposedly the generation of ‘apathy’ – yet consider the London riots, the 2010 student movement and Corbyn’s election as Labour Leader: we are alienated almost unresolvedly from the main stream, but not apathetic about politics – merely the politics that we have been force-fed for years.

So we’re gonna fuck up this poor and immigrant bashing government and a strike is a spectacular way to do it.

But has it happened before? Will it do shit?

Yes, it has happened before. It was fucking great. The Quebec student movement is known for going particularly hard and they actually toppled their government in 2012; Brazil has had a recent very effective student strike and Britain had one back in 1971, where 500,000 students went on a 5 week strike against Margaret “the witch” Thatcher when she was education secretary.

Alright, but I pay loads for my classes; isn’t skipping them a bit self-defeating?

That’s why they raised the fees: the introduction of university fees has been an attempt to make us feel purely like consumers rather than collective members of our education institution.

While you may miss some classes during a strike, who can honestly say they haven’t skipped class before? Also we must try to get away from the notion that education exists purely in the lecture theatre and seminar rooms at an institution which charges ridiculous prices, and whose managers don’t give a shit about us or our wellbeing.

While you may miss out on class you may learn a lot more on a strike than you think.

I get workers striking, but we don’t produce anything – how would it work?

We produce a lot. Not only is it in the government’s interest that the education system continues to operate as normal, but university is a place of social reproduction and creation as much as pure academia.

An education system should be seen as a microcosm of wider society, rather than a system which charges thousands of pounds and uses immigrants for the money they represent rather than simply recognizing fellow human beings.

Catering to business interests over student well-being tells you a lot about the society in which we live.

We cannot be coy or defensive, we must create a radical democratic vision for education and we must create it now. We must bring it about by any means necessary, not simply for ourselves (though that is a motivator) but for all those not yet born who I hope will be able to take for granted life-long free education, and a richer society for it.

Get Angry, Get Organised and Win.

 

Max O’Donnell Savage

 

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
915 views1
Campus News
915 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
248 views
Arts
248 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
264 views
Arts
264 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
246 views
Arts
246 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
305 views
Arts
305 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
311 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
282 views
Arts
282 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
266 views
Arts
266 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
406 views
Campus News
406 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
213 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
675 views
Arts
675 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
277 views
Arts
277 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
366 views
Artist Focus
366 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
279 views
Interview
279 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
347 views
Arts
347 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
398 views
Arts
398 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
421 views
Arts
421 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
328 views
Artist Focus
328 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
360 views
Books
360 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
458 views
Science
458 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
388 views
News
388 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…